Tokyo Fashion Week goes minimalist

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

(c) 2015, The Yomiuri Shimbun.

TOKYO — Clothes with simple designs that cut ornamentation to the bone to pull off a low-key look, along with sophisticated fabrics with beautiful, distinctive textures, were center stage at Tokyo Fashion Week for autumn-winter 2015-16 held last month.

A variety of works using high-quality natural materials was presented by beautiful people. The works included a poncho of double-faced wool fabric and a long coat using shiny camel's hair.

"I pursued possibilities and the beauty of natural materials based on ideas I conceived from the word virgin," said a designer of the brand. To do so, the brand avoided adding extra decorations and emphasized the high quality of the materials.

Hanae Mori by Yu Amatsu, a brand led by young designer Yu Amatsu, presented a long coat in orange. The maxi coat was long enough to cover the ankles and was accentuated by wide sleeves. When the model wearing the coat walked down the runway, the coat's bottom gracefully billowed behind her, enhancing the smooth wool texture and its vivid color.

Lamarck, also led by a young designer, used many simple designs, too. A coat using shiny lamb wool gave off a slightly masculine look. Its light gray, which was meant to add a Scandinavian touch, accentuated the fabric's soft texture.

A jacket and skirt by mintdesigns used see-through fabric bearing geometrical patterns. The patterns were made by partially melting the fabric's texture, enhancing feelings of glamour in the design.

Insisting on focusing on the Japanese sense of beauty, matohu presented a sweater using lame threads and a voluminous skirt whose fabric bore very small dents arranged in a pattern. These items were dimly illuminated by classical Japanese lanterns.

"I want people [wearing them and people who see them] to enjoy the light and shadow made by the fabrics under soft lighting," said a designer in charge.

Tokyo Fashion Week had traditionally featured many clothes with unconventional designs.

This time, however, the trend seemed to shift to more modern, sophisticated elements. Many of the featured designers put more emphasis on considering wearers' comfort by developing textiles, rather than thinking of creating a novel appearance. Their down-to-earth creations seemed to represent Tokyo Fashion Week maturing.

Rina Akiyama, a blind gold medalist of the female 100-meter backstroke at the London Paralympics, was one of the models of tenbo, a brand that made its debut at Tokyo Fashion Week.

The brand was set up by designer Takafumi Tsuruta last year to make clothes that can be worn regardless of age, sex and physical capability. Its show presented items such as a coat with buttons equipped with magnets and a wedding dress for wheelchair-bound women.

"I want to present clothes that are not only functional, but also fun to wear for the impaired," Tsuruta said.

bc-japan-fashion (TPN)